Recently purchased a 2012 TDI Sportwagen. It was great, except for the stereo. It was overall just underwhelming, and Bluetooth only played on the right channel, through all speakers. Despite having a warranty the dealer refused to do anything about this, saying it was supposed to sound that way. I might have fought them harder on that, but even if it was fixed it still would be an outdated system. Not worth my time. The stereo was really the only part of the car I didn’t like. In comes the RCD330, an OEM head unit sold in Chinese Volkswagens capable of running Android Auto and Apple Car Play.

The new head unit, blending in beautifully

Apparently the Chinese market has some cars that still use the MK6 style interior, which warrants them producing this new radio for the older interior. From what I can find on the Chinese Volkswagen website the last gen Tiguan is sold there, and the Lavida which is a last gen Passat? Anyway, it turns out that these head units are being produced and are readily available. For $200 I couldn’t resist, especially considering high end head units that run Android auto can cost up to twice as much. And the fact that it blends in with the interior is a huge advantage. I hate how flashy aftermarket head units are, why do they all need RGB lighting?

The old head unit for reference

Install was as simple as removing the trim and taking out 4 T20 screws. It was plug-n-play. This unit doesn’t have satellite radio though, so that antenna didn’t have a plug, not a problem for me though, I don’t want satellite radio, I have android auto, which works beautifully with Spotify. Since it’s an OEM unit my steering wheel controls work too, I can use the old voice control button to toggle the Google assistant. Additionally everything sounds much better. It might be in my head but I feel like everything is much clearer. It’s definitely playing in stereo now.

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The way I look at it I paid $200 to make my car essentially a new one. Granted new cars also can have other features, but really infotainment is really what dates cars these days. I’m comfortable and all my needs are met.